Manufacturers urged to embrace young talent to avoid unfilled vacancies

Manufacturing leaders in the West Midlands are being urged to come together to unlock the region’s young talent to avoid millions of unfilled vacancies in the future.

Business in the Community (BITC) is hosting a high-profile debate at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry to look at ways firms can remove challenges youngsters face when entering the job market for the first time.

The event, which will be held on 28th September, is part of the organisation’s ‘Future Proof’ campaign and will look at ways that companies can break down barriers, improve recruitment processes and make positions more accessible for young people.

Paul Rowlett (MD of AMTC) and Carmen Watson (Chairperson of Pertemps) have already signed up as keynote speakers, whilst the impact of the new Apprenticeship Levy will also be discussed in detail.

“A recent survey of 4000 young people identified that 1 in 3 found the process of applying for jobs difficult,” explained Grace Mehanna, Campaign Director, Talent & Skills for BITC.

“The most common barrier they face was a lack of previous experience according to 57% of respondents, with 26% quoting a failure to have the right qualification as another major concern.”

She continued: “Manufacturers need to recognise these issues and address them as it can be very bad for their reputation. 20% of young people said a poor process put them off the firm, with 1 in 10 saying it blurred the whole image of the industry for them.

“What we want to do with this event is start to unpick some of the underlying trends behind this research and get an insight into what can be done to overcome them and ensure the pipeline of young talent get the opportunities they deserve and firms the skills they need to prosper.”

Backed by the City & Guilds Group, the ‘Future Proof’ campaign uses expert advice from employers and the latest best practice processes to give companies the chance to attract and develop new talent.

It is focused on preparing young people for the world of work (via information, advice and delivering activities in schools), create accessible jobs and look at ways to nurture the talent through youth-friendly introductions, line management and clear progression.

There is also a free online tool available to identify where employment strategies are working well and the practical steps needed to improve. This takes just 15 minutes to complete and generates a free bespoke report for businesses.
Grace concluded: “There are a few spaces left for the event so, if you are interested in doing your bit for meeting the skills gap and an expected 12.5 million national vacancies by 2022, now is the time to step forward.”

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